CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 21 . . . . June 20, 2003
Via 16 double page spreads containing photographs of labeled animals, people and real objects placed against a variety of solid color backgrounds, youngsters encounter 15 word groupings which are connected to their immediate surroundings before the images take them further afield. The opening pair of pages presents the numbers from one to ten with the appropriate quantities of vegetables or fruits being used to illustrate each number. Eleven colour rectangles occupy the next two pages while 10 two dimensional shapes come next. “My body” follows with closeup photos focusing on specific body parts, such as teeth, nose and tummy. Oddly, while knees and toes are identified, elbows and fingers are not. Not surprisingly, the gender distinguishing body parts are omitted. With what to cover the body is the focus of “My clothes.” Children are then taken on a tour of their domicile via the next two sets of pages with “In my home” stressing furniture and appliances and “In the kitchen” more appliances and cooking utensils. Flowing naturally from the kitchen are the two pages of “What I eat and drink.” The next pair of pages presents “Playtime toys.” Recognition of some of the “Bath time” objects, such as bubble bath and shampoo, will be difficult because of the need to present them in generic, not commercial product, containers. “Bedtime” portrays the furniture and items connected with sleep. The book then moves out of the home and into the wider community with “On the move” showing a variety of vehicles, most of them land based. Why a commercial speedboat was used to illustrate water travel as opposed to more common water vessels, such as rowboats, sailboats or even an ocean liner, is puzzling. “At the beach” does not show a beach, but just the things a child might wear or play with at that locale. “On the farm” illustrates typical animals found there plus a tractor and a combine. “Wild animals” illustrates 10 generally exotic creatures that children would most likely encounter in a zoo. The final pair of facing pages is a matching game in which the child is asked to find nine matching pairs of photographs.
Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children’s and YA literature at the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.